In a press release from early May, the USDOL announced that a conclusion had been reached in a case reaching back to 2009. According to the release:
The U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire has sentenced Kevin Corriveau, owner, and operator of Kevin Corriveau Painting Inc. of Nashua, to six months imprisonment; two years of supervised release, post-imprisonment; and a $25,000 criminal fine for one count of obstruction of justice….Corriveau pled guilty on Dec. 15, 2017, to obstructing two U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigations and a subsequent civil lawsuit filed by the Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In his plea, Corriveau admitted that he caused an employee of his company to provide false information to WHD investigators in 2009 and 2011 and knowingly created and provided fraudulent information to the Department of Labor attorneys in 2013 in connection with the civil suit.
In a related case, Sharon Mercuri, the company treasurer, and office manager pled guilty and was fined $10,000 on Dec. 21, 2017, for two counts of criminally violating the FLSA, including willfully failing to pay proper overtime and knowingly making a materially false statement in connection with the WHD’s investigation.
The company had been investigated for not paying wages properly. They had not paid wages due of $200,000. In covering this action up, and in lying to the USDOL attorneys, the owner ended up paying a much heavier price. The owner discovered that improper FLSA actions may result in more than just a fine and back pay.
In previous action taken by the DOL, the department had resolved the original civil action by obtaining a consent judgment that orders Corriveau, and fellow defendants Brian Corriveau and Sharon Mercuri, to pay $427,300 — $213,650 and an equal amount in liquidated damages — to 157 employees who were denied payment of overtime and/or minimum wage. One worker who was retaliated against received $10,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. The order also prohibited the defendants, from violating the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provisions and prevented them from threatening to report any employee to immigration authorities to inhibit employees’ rights under the FLSA.
Better to fess up and pay up
In this particular case the defendants learned that when caught making mistakes or in wrong-doing, it is better to face the music and make things right. In trying to hide and cover up their actions, this management team paid personally both financially and with jail time. Don’t make the same mistake.